Breakthrough technology to enable much faster computing

Silicon Nanophotonics is the result of a decade of development at IBM`s global research labs.

Updated: Dec 03, 2010, 18:24 PM IST

Washington: A new chip technology that integrates electrical and optical devices on the same silicon bit, would enable smaller, faster and more power-efficient chips than is possible with conventional ones.
The new technology, called CMOS Integrated Silicon Nanophotonics, is the result of a decade of development at IBM`s global research labs.

The patented technology will change and improve the way computer chips communicate -- by integrating optical devices and functions directly onto a silicon chip, enabling over 10-fold improvement in performance, according to an IBM statement.

IBM anticipates that Silicon Nanophotonics will dramatically increase the speed and performance between chips, helping the company to develop the world`s most powerful supercomputer that can perform one million trillion calculations or an exaflop in a second.

An exascale supercomputer is expected to be 1,000 times faster than the fastest machine today.

"The development of the Silicon Nanophotonics technology brings the vision of on-chip optical interconnections much closer to reality," said T.C. Chen, vice-president, Science and Technology, IBM Research.

"With optical communications embedded into the processor chips, the prospect of building power-efficient computer systems with performance at the exaflop level is one step closer to reality," Chen said.